If you've ever said you hate religion, you might be...

Dear Middleway Urban Monastery friends,

The foreword to our May book club study begins "I hate organized religion..." and adds "I despise the institutional church...I don't believe in communities of worship ... I don't like religion at all ...

"However, I'm very spiritual."

To some, those opening words might be shocking. Others are nodding their heads in agreement.

Truth is, this isn't a new trend. There have been plenty of times in the more than 2000 years since Christ that religion didn't hit the mark, but people still sought God, i.e., were "spiritual." If or when this happens to you, however, it can be scary and you might think you're the only one who ever felt this way.

We say, "join the club." In fact, you're a big part of the reason we started Middleway a year ago this month. We are a community, and that includes you and literally millions of others like you. We're all exploring along various points of our personal journey. It's nice to know there are others around us on the journey as well. Just by subscribing to this weekly newsletter, you are part of our collective monastery.

Perhaps you'll join us to talk about this month's book (details below), and/or check out the various virtual offerings we have to aid you as you explore.

Read about what's going on at Middleway below. Make a note to check out our Facebook group page or website.

Book club to begin Streams of Living Water

This week, we begin our May study of Richard Foster's "Streams of Living Water." The publisher said the book is a "landmark work, (in which) Foster examines the foundations of Christian experience, growth, and renewal found in six historical movements: contemplative, holiness, charismatic, social justice, evangelical, and incarnational. Using profiles of biblical and modern characters who exemplify these traditions, he offers suggestions on how to integrate them into your daily life and challenges you to lead a more authentic Christian experience."

The book is available on Audible or on Kindle via Amazon if you want a quick download, or you might check with your local library to see if it's available. We will discuss the introduction and first chapter on Tuesday, May 4, at 7 p.m. Central time. The group is open to all. Here's how to join:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86289918385?pwd=SjcwUW5NMlZnWUtlNFFYd01waVZzUT09

Meeting ID: 862 8991 8385 Passcode: 164675

or call in 1 346 248 7799

Our book for June will be Henri Nouwen's "The Way of the Heart."

Interested in spiritual direction or formation training?

If you've considered learning more about Christian spirituality and how the training might impact you and your ministry, check out FIND - School for Spiritual Direction and Formation. Applications are being accepted for the ecumenical school which offers classes once a month on a Saturday so that busy lay and clergy people can attend more easily. NEW THIS YEAR: FIND is launching a second version of the school. After a successful transition to Zoom classes in 2020 to operate the school during the pandemic, the FIND board has agreed to offer a parallel school which will be exclusively online to enable anyone to attend without regard to location. The traditional school, which was founded in 1997, will return to an in-person venue at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Bryan, Texas. A person may choose to enroll in either the online or in-person school. FIND hopes to move to Middleway Urban Monastery when a physical location is established. For more information, see www.schoolforspiritualdirection.org.

How to Visit Middleway Urban Monastery

Ready to dig a little deeper spiritually? We're here for you.

You're a "member" if you are receiving this newsletter. Come and see what the monastery has for you online. When you enter our URL, facebook.com/groups/TheMiddlewayUrbanMonastery, it is like opening the door of a physical building, and you will find all that is offered there.

Likewise, you can come to our website and explore the offerings, including links to our Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube accounts, if you like those formats and want to follow.

If you know others who would like to "join," ask them to subscribe to our weekly newsletter by going to https://www.middlewayurbanmonastery.org/contact and entering their email address at the Subscribe button on the lower right.

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